MANILA, Philippines — Determined to bounce back from last year’s heartbreak, Lucille Almonte and the Adamson Lady Falcons finally ended a nine-year Final Four drought after falling short in a playoff for the No.4 seed last year.
Almonte delivered the goods for the Lady Falcons in 25-20, 27-25, 23-25, 25-15 victory over the also-ran University of the Philippines that clinched the second Final Four slot in the UAAP Season 85 women’s volleyball tournament on Saturday at Mall of Asia Arena.
The third-year wing spiker, who tallied 13 points, 20 digs, and 10 excellent receptions, said her batchmates including Louie Romero, Lorene Toring, and Rizza Cruz were eager to make sure their heart-breaking playoff defeat to Ateneo last year will not happen again this season.
“This season, gusto talaga namin bumawi, and yung goal talaga namin is pumasok ng Final Four and pag nakapasok ng Final Four, if kaya, championship po,” said Almonte as Adamson rose to a 9-4 record to book a Final Four ticket .
(This season we really wanted to bounce back and our goal is to reach the Final Four. When we reach the Final Four, we will try to make it to the championship round.)
“Last season, we failed to do it. So this time, we want to give everything that we have,” she added in Filipino.
Almonte and the Lady Falcons were happy to bring back their school to the post-elimination round for the first time since Season 76 in 2014 when coach Sherwin Meneses was still handling the program bannered by Bang Pineda, Mayette Zapanta, and Amanda Villanueva.
But Almonte stressed that they will not stop trying to get better as the Final Four looms.
“We’re happy because, for the first time in nine years, we made it to the Final Four. But we can’t stop from here because we still have a lot of games remaining,” she said.
Adamson will end its elimination round campaign against Far Eastern University on Saturday next week at FilOil EcoOil Centre.
Almonte said they need to take care of business against the Lady Tamaraws as they try to boost their chances for the last twice-to-beat incentive.
“Knowing FEU, they are very aggressive and quick so we have to match their skills. I trust my teammates and coaches can do it,” she said.
WATCH: Lucille Almonte, Trisha Tubu, and AdU assistant coach Rald Ricafort on ending a nine-year Final Four drought. #UAAPSeason85 | via @LanceAgcaoilINQ pic.twitter.com/fetCDJIPKg
— INQUIRER Sports (@INQUIRERSports) April 22, 2023
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